Monday 9 January 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I have been a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes for many years. I read the books as a teenager and in recent years I listened to all of the audiobooks on my iPod while travelling to/from work. I highly recommend the audiobooks read by John Telfer. His version of "A Study in Scarlet" is available here.

I was a little leery about Guy Richie intention to make a Sherlock Holmes moves with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. How misplaced my misgivings were. I loved the movie. My only regret is that I did not go to see it in the cinema.

So I was very much looking forward to seeing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows as I headed to the cinema the other night.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Guy, Robert, Jude, Jared, Noomi, Rachel, Stephen, Kieran, and Michele for a job well done.

A movie that will be enjoyed by both fans of action movies and fans of the world’s greatest detective and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The high point for action fans will probably be the race through the woods to catch the train.

The high point for Holmes fans will probably be the chess game and the infamous close encounter with the Reichenbach Falls.

Opinions seem to vary on whether or not it is as good as the preceding movie. For what it’s worth, IMDB currently rates the new one at 7.7  and its predecessor at 7.5 .

The low point for me was the characterisation of Mycroft. I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry and I was delighted to hear that he had been cast as Mycroft. But I do not think that role did justice to Sherlock’s smarter elder brother. And the part where he wanders around the house naked is just plain silly.

I was impressed by Jared Harris’ portrayal of Moriarty. It would be very easy to disappoint when playing the "Napoleon of crime" but Harris certainly does not.

Not sure if the prelude to the final physical encounter between Holmes and Moriarty was supposed to be a tribute to the prelude to the fight between Nameless and Sky in Hero but it certainly reminded me of it.

Some say that it is one of those movies that is even better on second viewing so I am looking forward to owning it on DVD some day.